About the Match
Auckland has won 3 matches in a row, and are currently in the 2nd position with 20 points; they will take on Northern Knights, who are in the first place with 22 points, on 7th January at Auckland. Northern Knights have also won two games consecutively and will be determined to keep their momentum going. Both teams have proved to be strong contenders this season and we could see some fireworks across the park on Sunday.
Batting first against Canterbury, Mark Chapman who is in good form with the bat, scored 101 off 58 to help take their total to 168. The bowlers then kept a tight leash on the opponents, restricting them to 161 during the chase and winning the match by a close 7 runs. Ben Lister and spinner Tarun Nethula took 2 wickets apiece while Sam Curran, Ronnie Hira, and Sean Solia took a wicket each to wrap up a win.
Against Otago, they gunned down the required 148 runs in 18 overs thanks to a good show by Craig Cachopa, Sean Solia, Mark Chapman and Robert O’Donnell. Earlier, pacer Ben Lister dismissed 3 wickets in an economical manner while spinners Teja and Tarun Nethula took a wicket each; Sean Solia and Sam Curran also provided a breakthrough each and they bring variety to the attack.
The last time these two teams met, Northern Knights had emerged victorious after Auckland failed to chase down 215 runs; Glenn Phillips, Robert O’Donnell, Colin Munro and Mark Chapman built the foundation during the chase, but they fell short by 7 runs in the end. With the home advantage here, Auckland will look to avenge the previous defeat and could come out with all their firepower here.
Batting first against Auckland, Tim Seifert had top-scored with a superb 107 off 42 while Anton Devcich and Brett Hampton contributed well to take the total to 214. Later, speedsters Ben Laughlin, who claimed 3-27, spinners Anton Devcich and Ish Sodhi restricted the opponents to 207 and won the match by 7 runs handsomely.
Recently against Otago, Anton Devcich pitched in with a well-made 88 off 51 and opener Tim Seifert contributed with 55 off 41 to reach the target of 157 with ease. Earlier, pacers Chris Jordan, Brett Randell and Daryl Mitchell claimed 2 wickets each while spinner all-rounder Devcich and Joe Walker claimed one wicket apiece to restrict Otago to 156.
Against Central Districts, the batsmen easily chased down 181 runs thanks to a good show by the top-order batsmen Tim Seifert, Brownlie, Devcich and Brett Hampton. Spinner Anton Devcich took 3 wickets while others provided regular breakthroughs; they have a well-balanced team of in-form batsmen and bowlers, who can help them conquer Auckland yet again.
Northern Knights had won the contest against Auckland the last time they met and could pose a stiff challenge here too; the contest could go down to the wire but we feel that Auckland with the home advantage is better placed to emerge victorious.